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the Heavy-9

the Heavy-9


Keyboard Gravitas for the Numerate

The Heavy-9 is an aftermarket upgrade housing for the FC980C and FC980M keyboards made by Leopold. The unique layout of these keyboards provides a full number pad in a form factor not much wider than a standard Tenkeyless.

Sharing the robust retro-industrial styling of its popular little brother (the Heavy-6), this thing is a hefty beast—the most massive keyboard housing I've ever made (or am likely ever to make). For keyboard-loving Excel jockeys and other number crunchers, it might well just make for the ultimate keyboard build.

By popular demand of our friends on KeebTalk, a special Veracity Steel edition is offered, milled from a solid block of dense stainless steel and then polished by hand to a mirror finish. This version, which immensely increases the weight and reduces internal sound transmission, proved shockingly popular on the Norbaforce Mark II (given the necessarily high cost) and was very well-received by the clients who opted to get it.

Only Aperture units remain. These are in-stock units and ready to ship within a few days of your order.

Made in the USA

The Heavy-9 is made in America, from the housing and finishes right down to the rubber bumper feet and standoff fasteners.

Each unit will ship with a custom product document portfolio, also printed and bound in the US, and individually numbered and hand-signed by me.

Technical Details

The Heavy-9 comes with a hefty and dense powder-coated steel rear cover plate. This greatly increases the overall weight of the board and also reduces acoustic echoes and sound transmission (which can be further enhanced by an acoustic dampener—see below).

This design is also my first to incorporate PEM fasteners as standoffs on the rear cover plate, making assembly even easier and with fewer parts to lose. A custom anodized aluminum adapter plate is also included for securely mounting and precisely aligning the sub-PCB of the breakout board to the rear cover plate assembly. (I know that all might sound complicated, but the idea is that assembly on this kit is actually quite easy.)

The aluminum version weighs in at almost 6 pounds (3kg) with the keyboard installed. The Veracity Steel version: around 11 pounds (5kg). Dimensions are: 412mm x 161mm x 32mm (at tallest point). Typing angle: 3 degrees.


Aperture A textured powder coat reminiscent of one used on high-end vintage photography equipment.

K2 An elegant textured white powder coat. Matching rear cover plate.

Enigma Black This fine-textured black powder coat finish is a throwback to vintage typewriters and electronics housings of the 1940s and 1950s. Matching rear cover plate.

Veracity Steel The same material and finish used on many luxury watches, this finish can be re-polished and is thus user-maintainable over time. Due to the fact that it is painstakingly polished by hand, there will always be microscopic patterns left by the buffing wheels visible in bright light at certain angles, but I have these polished to as close to a true mirror as is physically possible. I didn't have the opportunity to produce a sample of the Heavy-9 in Veracity Steel, but below is an image of a different one of my keyboards in the same finish. The Veracity housings come with a Royal Wrinkle rear cover plate.

Acoustic Dampener

The optional acoustic dampener is made in the USA of 100% natural merino wool felt. It helps to reduce internal sound reflections off the rear cover plate, making for a more satisfyingly thocky-sounding build (especially on the FC980C).

Et alia

The FC980C/FC980M keyboard itself is, of course, not included, though you will need one to build a functional Heavy-9. Those can be ordered currently from popular vendors online, and they also become available regularly on the secondary market and eBay.

The Heavy-9 is a DIY kit. It will require you to void the warranty on your keyboard to install it. By purchasing, you acknowledge that this requires you to void your keyboard's warranty and you agree to undertake the build entirely at your own risk.